Shaun Bythell – The Diary of a Bookseller

First book of the year and my dreams have been destroyed. Just kidding, kinda. I always had a dream that I’d open a bookshop, but I’d always imagined it as a dream to be surrounded by books and book-loving people.

I’d never really considered the customers though, and after reading Shaun’s diary, I’m not sure it’s such a dream anymore.

This book is the diary of the owner of The Book Shop in Wigtown (Galloway in Scotland), and he’s not backwards in coming forwards – it’s a very honest diary. From his coworkers to customers, no-one escapes from Shaun’s witty but acerbic sense of humour.

I’d also never realised how much driving around the country is involved in owning a second hand bookshop – Shaun’s diary also details the places he goes to look at books that people want to sell to him – let’s just say that some people really overestimate what their books may be worth.

Other things that this book opened my eyes to include how badly Amazon treats second-hand book sellers. I guess I should really have known, but I never really thought about it. It’s so convenient to just buy that book from Amazon that it never really occurred to me what effect it would be having on other people’s livelihoods.

It’s a shame that there’s no second-hand bookshops near where I live, but from now on I’ll definitely be making more of an effort to seek them out when I’m on my travels, and The Book Shop is now at the top of my list.

Apart from the fact that my dreams have been lightly crushed, this book was warm and funny and a really interesting insight into the life of a bookshop. Great book for my first of 2019.

My rating: 4Average rating: 3.88
320 pages. Published in: 2018
Read in Paperbackon 1st-2nd January 2019

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